New knits for used yarn

Aren’t these vintage bed socks sweet? I was poking around on Abe Books not too long ago, looking for knitting books. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s and, ahem, even earlier, I often knit from patterns in McCall’s Needlework & Crafts. I’d never seen this copyright 1984 hardbound book before. But for $3.50 and free shipping I took a chance that it might have some interesting patterns.

Ta da! Bedsocks!

My new mattress has some sort of air-cooled feature that is chilling my feet down into the sub-zero range. I’ve taken to wearing my wool socks to bed. Truthfully, it’s 93 degrees Fahrenheit in northern Michigan today and this isn’t a problem at present. But bedsocks sounded like just what I needed.

I knit these in Stonehedge Fiber Shepherd’s wool. This worsted weight worked out perfectly. My toes stay cozy and they’re cute to boot.

My bedsocks used to be something else. A Betangled Cowl. I know. The cowl was lovely and it was great fun to knit. But all those buttons weighed it down and I just couldn’t seem to get it to lay correctly or comfortably around my neck. And it suffered mightily from flopsy syndrome. So I unravelled it. And now I have bedsocks, with yarn to spare.

A perfect fit.

These next worsted weight socks are knit in Berroco Vintage. I see it as a worsted though Ravelry ids it as an Aran-weight. Steve likes worsted weight socks, especially when he’s lounging around in his slippers in cold weather. These are Michele Wyman’s Twinkle Toes socks. Maybe you guessed that I didn’t feel I needed to tell my mate the name of his socks. He’s totally unfussy about colors. This apricot suits him just fine. But I might have been pushing it with Twinkle Toes.

Confession time. These used to be something else too. In its former life it was the Square Deal Scarf. I really enjoyed knitting that scarf. But the width was kind of overwhelming and I didn’t think it likely I would wear it or find somewhere to re-home it. So, the yarn has new life in Twinkle Toes. Plus I have gobs of yarn left for something else.

When I reuse yarn, maybe I take the lazy knitter’s route. I don’t wash the yarn. I just unravel the knitting, ball up the yarn as I unravel, and then I start knitting again. After the new knit is complete, as I block the new knit, is time enough for washing the yarn. Working with the yarn for a second time pretty much irons the kinks out anyway.

More hats

Kylie's_spiralLately it’s (almost) all hats all the time. I’m incentivized, as you’ll see at the end of this post. This is “Off-the-Cup Caps for Kids,” an Effectiveness by Design pattern by Michele Wyman. The pattern provides three variations and this is the spiral design. It was a “go to” pattern for me when my son was young and I haven’t knit it in ages. I used Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sport, but double-stranded it. The bow on top is a minor modification of mine. With 8 stitches left, I knit two 4-stitch I-cords.

It’s always a surprise to me to see how this:


Turns into a most unexpected this:


You’ve met Vogue Knitting’s Pompom Hat before on this blog. It’s back, jazzed up this time in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted in RPM Pink. Using a worsted, even though this is a beefy one, down-sized it to fit a child.

Sadie_pompomhatThe cables are great fun and look and feel totally cozy. But I also think that the seed-stitch back is a great touch.


This next one is Robin Melanson’s Hugs and Kisses Cabled Hat, from her hat and mitten set published in Tanis Gray’s “Cozy Knits: 50 Fast and Easy Projects by Top Designers,” published by Interweave.


I also knit this in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted (Lotus Pink) rather than in the bulky weight called for in the pattern. Again, the point was to downsize for a young one.

And this next cutie has a story to tell of knitting perseverance. But I’d not have been able to pull it off without the designer, Cynthia Spencer, having gone the extra mile and without Ravelry being available as support for our communication.


Kylies'cablehat2This is a two-color, one-pompom, no-top-tassle, modification of Spencer’s Cabled Earflap Hat included in “60 Quick Knits From America’s Yarn Shops.” It’s a Sixth and Spring Books publication. The errata are starting to pour in from the many corners of the knitting world on this book. I’d link to it, but for the last few days the website has been down. Spencer’s corrections hadn’t made it to the errata list as of about a week ago, though.

The pattern is correct except for the chart that is the body of the hat. I wouldn’t have been able to figure it out if Spencer hadn’t been so generous as to email me the chart she provided to the editors. She gave them line-by-line instructions too, but they only printed the chart and only after shrinking it down so small as to assure these senior eyes could barely read it. Well, that’s an old story and Sixth and Spring can’t be faulted for that any more than any other publisher can be. So, as for that chart–here’s the skinny:

Knit rounds 1 and 2. Then flip the chart upside down and start reading it backwards and knit rounds 23, 22, 21…and so on..down to round 3. Except when you get to round 17, 15 and 7 and 5 (reading the lines with their original chart labels, that is, upside down), reverse the 3-ST RPC and 3-ST LPC cables so that you switch the positioning of the 3rd and 4th set of cable crosses in each of the two halves of the figure eight.

Sigh. And then twirl around three times, shout “Callooh! Callay!” and chortle in your joy because once you knit the hat that Spencer entrusted to the publisher to print, you’ll have a great hat. Mine is knit in Cascade 220 Superwash Worsted.

kylies_cablehat3About being incentivized to knit these hats? Isn’t this just the best incentive ever?